What's the Vet Schedule for a Puppy?

What’s the Vet Schedule for a Puppy?

April 29, 2021

In the first year of your puppy’s life, you need to take it to the vet more frequently than you’ll have to later, primarily so you can stay on top of their vaccination schedule. Following a proper immunization and pet care schedule in Saint Francisville, LA protects your puppy against preventable (and potentially serious and fatal) infections and diseases like parvo and distemper.

There is a specific reason why the intervals between appointments are so rigid—scientific research provides exact timings for these booster vaccinations to ensure the best possible level of protection. The mother’s antibodies can interfere with the vaccination’s ability to create an immune response in the puppy, so puppies need a series of properly timed vaccinations to help the immune system break through the declining antibodies they got from their mother.

About vaccination schedules

Puppies get their first vaccinations between six and eight weeks of age. In most cases, this will be before you take your new puppy home, so make sure you get thorough medical records for a purchased or adopted puppy so your veterinarian knows the vaccinations they’ve already received and a schedule they need to follow moving forward.

Based on your puppy’s vaccination history, the doctor will develop a schedule based on your puppy’s anticipated lifestyle and possible risk. In most cases, these vaccines will come every two to four weeks until it’s determined they’ve reached full expected protection. There are typically three or four vaccinations for the distemper/parvo series until the puppy is 16 to 20 weeks old. If your dog is older and not up to date on shots, or if you’re unsure of the dog’s vaccination history, the series of shots may be shorter.

The other core vaccination to consider is rabies, which is typically required by state and local law. Each location will set its own rules for the age and intervals at which a dog receives the rabies vaccine.

There are other non-core vaccines that might not be required for all dogs, but can still be highly beneficial in certain circumstances. These include parainfluenza, Bordetella, leptospirosis, canine influenza and Lyme disease.

You can expect a standard vaccination schedule to follow the outline below:

  • 6 to 8 weeks: Distemper/hepatitis/parvo (all combined into one)
  • 9 to 11 weeks: Second DHP shot
  • 12 to 15 weeks: Third DHP shot
  • 16 to 20 weeks: Fourth DHP shot
  • Booster DHP: One year or 12 months after the last puppy shot, then as recommended, which will typically be every one to three years
  • Rabies: Timing for rabies varies based on location. Usually required by law between three and six months of age, followed by a booster 12 months after the first shot, and then another booster every one to three years.
  • Bordetella, parainfluenza, canine influenza: As recommended. Typically, this vaccine is reserved for particularly social dogs who go to day care, dog parks or dog shows.
  • Lyme or leptospirosis: As recommended. Typically used in areas where these are endemic.

For more information about canine vaccines and general pet care in Saint Francisville, LA, contact the team at St. Francisville Animal Hospital.

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